by Justine Marie Bernardo and Kattryn Erryc Sayo
Performing before a crowd of 19,509 with shaved heads that symbolize freedom and equality, the UP cheerdancers perfectly accomplished all their pyramids and stunts. Although a last-second fall stained their overall performance, they still got hold of the thumbs-up of the judges, mostly composed of international judges.
UP dancers' shaved heads stand for freedom, with their hair donated to the kids with cancer.
The UP Filipiniana Dance Troupe got the four out of five approval of the panel of judges with the final average of 92.26, which is just .9 away from the 1st Runner up Far Eastern University Cheering Squad with its jungle-inspired theme (91.36). National University hung on the third place with its royal-inspired performance.
The UST Salinggawi’s number, which was Brazilian-theme, only secured the fourth spot, failing for the second straight time to make it to the Top 3. De La Salle University (DLSU) Animo Squad completed fifth, followed by Ateneo Blue Babble Batallion, Adamson Pep Squad and University of the East Pep Squad.
Aside from bringing home the crown, UP also got the Stunner of the Year award in the name of Nicolette Erica Ambulo and excelled in the Group Stunts side event, Followed by FEU and NU.
Adding their trophy this year, the UP Pep Squad had mounted up an overall collection of eight cheerdance titles, the same with the University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe (UST SDT). Now, both are considered as the universities with the most number of titles in the annual Pep Squad Competition.
The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Cheerdance Competition is an annual event wherein joining universities compete with their best stunts and routines. The said competition is being sponsored by Samsung for five consecutive years already.